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Laser-based monitoring and removal of space debris

Voelker, Uwe and Buske, Ivo and Riede, Wolfgang and Speiser, Jochen (2011) Laser-based monitoring and removal of space debris. 3rd Space Forum - The European Approach, 20. - 21. September 2011, Bonn, Deutschland.

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Abstract

Owing to the extended use of space since the first launch of a satellite in 1957, an increasing number of remnants of on-orbit collisions, explosions and defunct satellites are circulating at high population density on important LEO and GEO orbits. Due to the velocities of these objects, even small particles impose significant risk for space assets. While larger LEO objects are permanently tracked by radar, barely any information is available on the orbits of objects at a size range of 1 cm to 10 cm. Hence, an effective and precise determination of exact orbital data is a prerequisite for collision risk mitigation and future removal approaches. In this talk, the concept of a laser-based monitoring system for LEO space debris will be presented and the feasibility of space debris removal employing high energy lasers will be discussed. Such a monitoring system offers various advantages and complements the current state-of-the-art detection with radar systems and passive optical observation. All parameters influencing the detection approach are considered, including the propagation of laser beams through turbulent atmosphere, scattering characteristics of the debris objects, and the required pulse energy of the laser used for time-of-flight ranging. These system parameters will be verified by scaled on-ground experiments. Our development goal is a monitoring platform including a 1 kHz repetition rate laser of 1 J pulse energy, which allows for the demonstration of technical feasibility of the discussed approach and stimulates further activities.

Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Laser-based monitoring and removal of space debris
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Voelker, UweUNSPECIFIED
Buske, IvoUNSPECIFIED
Riede, WolfgangUNSPECIFIED
Speiser, JochenUNSPECIFIED
Date:2011
Refereed publication:No
In SCOPUS:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Keywords:Space Debris, Weltraumschrott, Monitoring, Bahnbestimmung, Laser, Tracking, Ranging
Event Title:3rd Space Forum - The European Approach
Event Location:Bonn, Deutschland
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:20. - 21. September 2011
Organizer:Deutsche Gesellschaft für Wehrtechnik e.V. (DWT)
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Aeronautics
HGF - Program Themes:Aircraft Research
DLR - Research area:Aeronautics
DLR - Program:L AR - Aircraft Research
DLR - Research theme (Project):L - Laser Research and Technology
Location: Stuttgart
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Technical Physics
Deposited By: Uwe Völker
Deposited On:20 Dec 2011 13:40
Last Modified:23 Jan 2012 09:06

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